Domestic abuse charity Refuge is urging the Government to U-turn on its decision to withdraw the £20 boost which will stop from the end of September
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Thousands of women fleeing domestic violence face fresh peril when ministers cut their benefits next month.
Charity Refuge wants a U-turn on the withdrawal of a £20 weekly boost to Universal Credit launched in the pandemic.
CEO Ruth Davison told the Sunday Mirror: “Scrapping it will push already vulnerable women and children further into poverty.
“It may give some women the difficult choice between staying with an abusive partner or being unable to provide for themselves and their children.”
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Refuge says two-thirds of abuse survivors using shelters rely on the top-up.
Ms Davison said: “We’ve seen domestic abuse cases surge in the last 18 months. UC is a lifeline for survivors trying to flee abuse and rebuild their lives.”
The cut could also be devastating for the 1.6 million who have experienced economic abuse during the pandemic, says Refuge.
Ms Davison called for change to the benefits system as the current one can “perpetuate abuse” with “lengthy waits” to access UC.
Research from the Action for Children charity examined how much less a sole-earner couple with two children will receive in social security compared to 2010, factoring in previous benefit squeezes.
The families of hairdressers will have lost £1,982 on average, shelf stackers £1,843 and care workers £1,773, according to the analysis.
Street cleaners were estimated to lose £1,769, nurses £1,736 and primary school teachers £1,734.
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“It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.
“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work, and it’s right that the Government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”
- For support, contact Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk